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UNLV roundup: Three ex-Rebels to play in new football league

Three former UNLV football players made rosters of teams in the Alliance of American Football, which kicks off its inaugural season Saturday.

Linebacker John Lotulelei (2011-12) and offensive tackle Brett Boyko (2011-14) are with the San Diego Fleet, and linebacker Tau Lotulelei (2013-16) is with the Atlanta Legends.

The eight-team AAF’s regular season runs through April 14, with the title game set for April 27 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

John Lotulelei, 27, was an All-Mountain West first-team selection in 2012 after posting 120 tackles. He has spent five years in the NFL, appearing in 18 games while suiting up for active rosters and practice squads for Seattle, Jacksonville, Oakland and Dallas.

Boyko, 26, was a four-year starter who twice was named All-Mountain West second team. In the NFL, he spent two years on Philadelphia’s practice squad before joining the Chargers in San Diego and then Los Angeles. He appeared in one game for the team in 2017.

Tau Lotulelei, 24, was named All-Mountain West first team as a senior in 2016 and previously spent time in the Canadian Football League.

The San Diego Fleet open against the San Antonio Commanders at the Alamodome at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Atlanta Legends open against the Orlando Apollos at Spectrum Stadium on the Central Florida campus at 5 p.m. Saturday.


At Eller Media Stadium, Lauren Tycksen went 5-for-6 with two RBI triples and five runs to lead the Rebels to a 7-6 win over Seton Hall and a 9-0 victory over Utah Valley in the season-opening Marucci Desert Classic.

Tycksen, a transfer from Salt Lake Community College, went 3-for-3 with the two RBI triples against the Pirates (1-1). Reina Bondi went 2-for-2 and scored three runs, Myranda Bueno homered, and Justin Federe drove in two runs for UNLV (2-0), which was outhit 10-7 by Seton Hall.

Janae Barracato, Payton Beaver, Destini Peck, Hailey Ateaga and Emily Supercynski each had two hits for the Pirates, with Peck driving in three runs and Barrecato scoring three.

Against the Wolverines (0-1), freshman Jenny Bressler (2-0) pitched a six-inning, three-hit shutout, with five strikeouts and three walks. Mia Trejo and Myranda Bueno each had two of the Rebels’ 12 hits, Julia Vollmer homered, and Samantha Diaz drove in two runs.


At Albuquerque, N.M., Mackenna Howard placed fifth in the weight throw, the best of the Rebels’ six top-eight finishes on the first day of the 27-team Don Kirby Invitational.

Howard’s 63-foot throw was her personal best and the fourth best in UNLV indoor history.

Destiny Smith-Barnett placed seventh out of 129 entrants in the 200-meter dash in 23.81 seconds. In the long jump, Jasmyne Graham was seventh (19 feet, 5.5 inches) and Jonon Young eighth (19 feet, 1.25 inches). Freshman Gizelle Reid was eighth in the 400 in 56.83 seconds.

Due to inclement weather in Seattle, the Rebels’ participation in the Husky Classic was cut short, with Elisa Rovere placing 15th and Kara Smith 22nd in the 800. Saturday’s slate was canceled.


At Fertitta Tennis Complex, Aiwen Zhu, Izumi Asano, En-Pei Huang, Connie Li and Alex Kalachova each won in singles and were part of three doubles victories to lead the Rebels (3-2) to a 7-0 triumph over Youngstown State (2-4).

Zhu, ranked No. 81 nationally, won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles and teamed with Huang for a 6-1 victory at No. 1 doubles. Asano, ranked No. 118, won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 singles and teamed with Li for a 6-2 victory at No. 2 doubles. Kalachova won 7-6 (3), 6-1 at No. 6 singles and teamed with Samantha Li for a 6-2 win at No. 3 doubles.

Ana Bogoslavets won 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 singles, Huang won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4 singles, and Connie Li won 6-4, 6-4 at No. 5 singles.


At Malibu, Calif., Clayton Alenik and Tom Ciszewski won in singles for the Rebels (5-1) in their 5-2 loss to Pepperdine (1-3).

Ciszewski, a freshman, improved to 6-0 in dual matches with a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 6, and Alenik won 6-0, 1-6, 6-1 at No. 5. Jordan Sauer lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 at No. 4, and Olle Thestrup fell 7-6, 7-5 at No. 1.

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